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Lawyer defends Nevada truck firm in Amtrak crash

•  Recent Cases     updated  2011/07/11 00:50


A lawyer for the Nevada trucking company whose tractor-trailer slammed into an Amtrak train, killing six people, defended the company’s safety record Thursday and said it was not at fault in two previous accidents cited in state safety records.

John Davis Trucking Co. has been cooperating with local, state and federal investigators and is as anxious as anyone to learn why the driver who died in the June 24 crash ignored flashing lights and crossing gates before skidding the length of a football field into the side of the train, Steven Jaffe of Las Vegas said.

But he said four negligence lawsuits filed against the Battle Mountain company — combined with the ongoing investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board — has kept the brothers who own the family-run business from sharing information that would help shed more light on the tragedy.

“There’s a lot more than meets the eye,” Jaffe told The Associated Press. “I think when it all comes down to it, the public is going to see a very different John Davis Trucking than was originally put out there.

“I believe the evidence will show their conduct was defensible in all of this,” he said. “I have a great deal of trust in the legal system, and if some day we go in front of a jury, I’m confident it will give us the chance to say that we did everything right.”

Federal records reviewed by the AP show the state Department of Public Safety cited the company for 16 vehicle maintenance violations over the past two years and noted it had been involved in two crashes during that period, including one in February 2010 that injured a person in Washoe County.




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